Saturday Scenes

Thu 29 September 2011

One Hundred and Seventeen Candles Wasn’t Too Many

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:20

On the 24th of September in 1880, Sarah DeRemer Knauss was born.

In 1998 she took the record for the world’s oldest person in the Guinness Book of World Records. The death of Marie-Louise Febronie Meilleur (the previous record holder who was born 26 days earlier) led to the record passing to Sarah Knauss. Her response? “So what?”

Mrs. Sarah Knauss, the World’s Oldest Person, Turns 119

Sullivan wanted her mother to eat more of her crab patty before turning to the sweets, but no 95-year-old whippersnapper was going to tell Sarah Knauss what to do on her birthday. She took another bite of whipped cream. “She’s doing fine, the same as she has been,” said Marcella Moyer Schick, who alerted Guinness about Knauss and backed up the oldest claim with marriage and Census records.
The cake two years ago had 117 candles, but the latest was a pared version that had the numbers one, one, and nine. “When you let off that many candles,” explained activities director Bohnenberger, “you let off a lot of smoke, and we thought the fire alarm would go off.”

She died just thirty three hours short of the beginning of the year 2000. What a life!

And here on the 24th of September in 2011, the following people are also looking to live life to its fullest and to document their experiences:

Looking for fun-loving friends to follow on Twitter? I recommend the following:

Would you like to see your photograph featured here?

Simply take a photo on a Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes! Every week I retweet the Saturday Scenes and then collect them all for a special post here. We’d love to see yours.

Thu 22 September 2011

High Flyers

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:33

On the 17th of September in 1908, Thomas Etholen Selfridge achieved the dubious notoriety of becoming the first person to die in a plane crash.

He was a pilot, one of the three pilots trained to fly the Army Dirigible Number One in the U.S. Signal Corps. However, on this unfortunate occasion he was a passenger. Orville Wright was the pilot. Orville had brought the Wright Flyer to show Signal Corps and took Selfridge up to circle Fort Myer. The right propeller broke and the aircraft went into a nose-dive.

From page one of the New York Times the following day:

Front Page –

FATAL FALL OF WRIGHT AIRSHIP; Lieut. Selfridge Killed and Orville Wright Hurt by Breaking of Propeller. MACHINE A TOTAL WRECK; Increased Length of New Blade and Added Weight of a Passenger Probable Causes. CAVALRY RIDE DOWN CROWD; Rumor That the Machine Had Been Tampered with Denied by Army Officers — Not Well Guarded.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17. — Falling from a height of 75 feet, Orville Wright and Lieut. Thomas E. Selfridge of the Signal Corps were buried in the wreckage of Wright’s aeroplane shortly after 5 o’clock this afternoon. The young army officer died at 8:10 o’clock to-night. Wright is badly hurt, although he probably will recover.

Orville was asked if he had lost his nerve after the accident, to which he responded “The only thing I’m afraid of is that I can’t get well soon enough to finish those tests next year.”

Over a century later, on the 17th of September 2011, the following SatSceners – including a number of pilots – took photographs to post onto Twitter and record their Saturday scenes for posterity. Take a look:

And here are the photographers who took them:

We want to see MORE photographs of more places! Simply tweet the location of your photograph (taken on Saturday) to @SatScenes to be included.

Follow @SatScenes for more details and you’ll never miss another edition.

Thu 15 September 2011

The Forbidden City

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:20

On the 10th of September 1930, French explorer Michel Vieuchange set off to discover the forbidden city of Smara, in the middle of the Sahara of North Africa. He wasn’t sure where Smara was, exactly, nor did he know how he was going to get there. He didn’t speak Arabic nor Berber, the languages of the nomads. The journey was dangerous and other French nationals in the desert had been held as hostages or even killed. His brother, Jean Vieuchange, stayed behind, ready to rescue Michel if the journey went wrong. He disguised himself as a Berber woman and attempted to make his way into the interior but the trip failed.

This satellite view of Smara on Google Maps is modern but as you zoom out, the scale of the journey that Michel had planned is amazing.

Geoff Wisner :: Book Reviews :: Smara, The Forbidden City

Only about two weeks later, Vieuchange tried again. This time he dressed as an Arab man, but when strangers appeared his companions stuffed him into a pannier on the side of a camel until it was safe to come out. Vieuchange and his companions reached the city of Smara, long deserted and used only as temporary lodging by the nomadic tribes, but Vieuchange had only three hours to look around, measuring and photographing as quickly as possible, before the arrival of a large band of strangers forced him to leave. “I have seen your two kasbahs and your ruined mosque,” he wrote after his departure. “I have seen you completely, seated on your plinth, face to the desert, deserted in the silence, under the glowing sun. I have seen your palms, to-day half withered.”

Michel reached Smara but he fell ill with dysentery on his return journey. Jean had him evacuuated by aircraft to a local hospital but Michel died on the 30th of September. Jean went through Michel’s seven personal notebooks and two hundred photographs and produced Smara: The Forbidden City, documenting his brother’s travels. Michel wrote, “I put all this down because, here, I intend to enter everything, absolutely sincerely. My sincerity in the book will not be the same.” But it is the sincerity and honesty of his notebooks that make Smara: The Forbidden City a fascinating read.

And on the 10th of September in 2011, the following people posted sincere and honest scenes from their Saturday (hopefully without any danger!):

And here are our courageous explorers:

Why don’t you join us?

Simply take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it as a mention to @SatScenes with your location. It’s easy and fun.

PS: If you are interested in buying Smara: The Forbidden City, you could always do so via my affiliate link and support the cause. Er, the cause being my book-buying habit, but still: Smara, the Forbidden City on and Smara: Forbidden City on

Fri 9 September 2011

San Marino

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 12:39

On the 3rd of September in the year 301, a monastic community was founded by a stonecutter known as Marinus of Rab. Marinus left Rab (in present-day Croatia) during the Diocletianic persecution and went to Rimini, where he was made a Deacon. However, an insane woman accused him of being her estranged husband and he fled to Monte Titano to live as a hermit. It was there that he built a chapel and monastery which is now known as San Marino.

San Marino is now the most ancient constitutional republic. And if that didn’t already make it fascinating, the Centro Risorse Territoriale di Pesaro e Urbino have posted an excerpt from a travel guide to San Marino from 1769.

San Marino, a 1769 Guide

The road from La Catolica to Pezaro skirts the territories of this small republic, concerning the government of which we referred ourselves to the description given of it by Mr. Addison, who went in person to get a thorough knowledge of it. This little state was on the point of losing its liberty, by cardinal Alberoni’s enterprise against it, during his legation in Romania (* about 1750). The management and execution of this project would do honour to the cardinal’s bravery, had it been against a people, whom a slender regard to the Roman purple would not have restrained from offering at a defence. The cardinal’s red vestment, and a Te deum, in which he was seized with a panic, gave a sanction to this enterprize: Benedict XIV, disowned it, yet he kept the original charters of this republic, the cardinal having purloined them; and they were lodged in the Vatican Archivio.

I can’t help it. I find that a lot more exciting than the modern day Wikipedia entry.

And speaking of exciting, take a look at this week’s Saturday Scenes!

Take a moment out of your day to say hello to new friends on Twitter. Here are this week’s special submitters:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph in the next edition!

Thu 1 September 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:26

On the 27th of August in 1939, test-pilot Erich Warsitz took up the very first jet aircraft, the Heinkel He 178. Designed by Hans von Ohain and Ernst Heinkel, it was a small one-man aircraft with a jet intake in the nose and a retractable undercarriage.

The aircraft was a success; however, speeds were limited to 598 km/h (375 mph) at the proposed service altitude, and combat endurance was only 10 minutes. Its fall to official indifference was that Hermann Göring favoured the higher-developed piston engined fighters of the day which had already achieved higher performance standards, as opposed to investing more money into developing the jet engine. On 1 November 1939, Heinkel arranged a demonstration of the jet for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (“Reich Aviation Ministry”, RLM), where both Ernst Udet and Erhard Milch watched the aircraft perform. However, due to the conservative approach to aircraft design then favoured by both men, no official interest in the concept was shown. Nevertheless, Heinkel was undeterred, and decided to embark on the development of a twin-engine jet fighter, the He 280 as a private venture using what had been learned from the He 178.

The He 178 was placed in the Deutsches Technikmuseum (“German Technical Museum”) in Berlin, where it was destroyed in an air raid in 1943.

Easy come, easy go.

72 years later, on the 27th of August 2011, the following high-flyers weren’t winging it when took these excellent photographs for Saturday Scenes:

And these are the up-to-date submitters on Twitter who aren’t on autopilot:

Why don’t you join in?

We’d love to see your photos! Just take a picture on a Saturday and send it to @SatScenes with a location.

See you next week!

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